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Knowle Quarry, Shropshire

KEY STAGE 3 TEACHING TRAIL: SITE 1
© GeoconservationUK ESO-S Project, 2014


It is anticipated that the ideas and materials presented here will be adapted by schools, and others, to be more appropriate for their own purposes and programmes of study.

In such circumstances please acknowledge the source as the Earth Science On-Site project.

Key Stage 3 Downloads
Pupil Worksheets (pdf file, 769 KB)
Group Leader Notes (pdf file, 986 KB)

Site 1: Building Stones of Much Wenlock

From junction 6 on the M54 turn south along the A5223 to the junction with the A4169. Turn right and follow the road downhill into the Severn valley. Before reaching Buildwas take the left turn towards Much Wenlock, still following the A4169 into Much Wenlock.

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Figure 1: Map of Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock is an optional site on this itinerary. Group leaders may want to include a stop here to take advantage of the toilet facilities that are not available along Wenlock Edge. This may be combined with a worksheet exercise on the building materials used in the town. (See worksheet 2 in the Pupil Worksheets )

The coach park is on Station Road, which is signposted as a left turn when approaching Much Wenlock along the A4169 from Buildwas. The closest public conveniences are on the junction of King Street and Queen Street. The route on the worksheet is to turn left at the end of Station Road and walk along Sheinton Street, turning right along Queen Street. An extension could be made along King Street, turning right along High Street and then left into Sheinton Street at the Square. Pavements are often narrow or absent, so care should be taken to look out for traffic.

[Groups who want to see the museum geological display may simply visit the museum, or arrange a guided visit by contacting the Shropshire Education Officer on 01584 813650.]

Using worksheet 2 groups could be asked to observe and record the geological building materials in use in the town, as they walk past. If there are large numbers of people on the streets it will be advisable to subdivide a large group, and supervise them closely when crossing roads.

The bridge abutment at the junction of Station Road and Sheinton Street is an opportunity to see large blocks of limestone in use, as well as highlighting the building of the rail link which allowed exploitation of the southern Wenlock Edge limestone quarries (including Knowle Quarry) from the 1860s onwards. A range of other building stones is on view, including local Wenlock Limestone.

Close inspection of the limestone wall at the north end of King Street, exposed to weathering for many years, reveals an excellent range of Silurian fossils, much more clearly than will be seen in the quarries. There is no footpath here and groups will need to be aware of traffic. Remind groups to be considerate of the people who live and work in the town, and of course, not to remove or damage any parts of the walls, or cars parked close by them.

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